Your Mind

What is your Mind?

To answer this question let me first create a little context. I believe there are three main components to every human being – Mind, Body and Spirit.

Your Body is your physical body. That is pretty straightforward. Your Spirit is your soul or whatever term you are comfortable with. It is the “real you”. It is the part that is conscious.

Your Mind is what allows your Spirit to control your physical body and to interact with the world around you.

The Mind is made up of your brain, your extended nervous system and your DNA or genes, which are found in every cell. The Mind allows you to interact with the world around you and to experience life via the five physical senses of Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch and Smell.

You can think of your Mind as your own personal internet. It has enormous computing power that will put any computer to shame.

Meet your Unconscious Mind

Most of this vast computing power is not under your direct conscious control. This is often referred to as your unconscious mind. Recent studies indicate that the unconscious mind (I prefer to call it the invisible mind) accounts for around 99% of your total mind capacity.

The primary function of your unconscious mind is to keep your body as healthy as possible. It runs all of your internal body functions like keeping your heart beating like clockwork, breathing for you when you are not breathing consciously, your immune system, your digestive system, etc, etc.

Another very important function of your unconscious mind is to store and manage all of your memories. Your memories are the primary contributor to the creation of your sense of identity.

Your Perception

Your mind is in a constant state of sensory overload in the sense that the mind’s control center, your brain, can only process around 1% of all of the sensory data constantly being received by your nervous system. So, in order to cope, your nervous system has to filter out vast volumes of sensory information and present a small amount of summary data to your brain.

It is this summary data based on around 1% of all of the sensory data received that creates your “perception”. This explains why two or more people can have the same external life experience but perceive it completely differently.

How does your mind decide which sensory information to prioritize so that it gets noticed by you?

There are many varied filters that are applied but the most important filter comes from your primary internal program. Your primary internal program is stored in you DNA. It is the same for every human being. Your primary internal drive is SURVIVAL.

The drive to survive translates into minimizing pain, because ongoing pain is equated with dying, and maximizing pleasure.

Pleasure and Pain

Pleasure and pain are very potent forces that are the major influence on all your (often unconscious) decision making.

Whenever you choose between two or more alternatives, you choose the alternative you believe will be less painful and more pleasurable. This is true for simple choices like what to eat for lunch as well as major choices like moving house or starting or ending a relationship.

Many people are totally or at least partially unaware of this emotional decision making process. Many people go to great lengths to justify their choices rationally because they don’t trust their emotions. This does not change the underlying decision making process but generally simply drives it outside their conscious awareness and hence reduces their ability to consciously influence it.


Next Your Emotions